ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Quinnipiac, Yale, SCSU, New Haven, Albertus Magnus announce their athletes of the year

Christina Gelardi
New Haven
David Thomas
Track and Field
Native of Taneytown, Md., was an All-America honoree in the indoor season while also qualifying for the national meet in the 60-meter dash. Named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association East Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, the Northeast-10 Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year and the conference’s Most Valuable Athlete at both the indoor and outdoor championship meets. He earned an NCAA berth in the long jump and met provisional standards in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Jason Thompson

From Indiantown, Fla., the All-American hauled in 44 passes for 881 yards, including 16 touchdowns. He ranks in the top five in program history in receptions, receiving yards, touchdown catches and points and recently signed as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Redskins.
Keidy Candelaria

The native of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, was named All-America by two organizations after guiding the Chargers to the NCAA East Region title and the national quarterfinals. She was the AVCA East Region and Northeast-10 Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the East Region Championship. She is one of just seven players to tally 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in the storied history of the program.
Christina Gelardi

The Derby native was the Northeast-10 Player of the Year and led the nation with a .647 on-base percentage. She ranked in the top 10 nationally in five categories. Gelardi is top five all-time at New Haven in walks, batting average, RBIs, stolen bases, hits, home runs and doubles.
Elizabeth Epstein

The Chicago native helped lead Yale to three Ivy League titles and four ECAC team championships during her career. She is a three-time All-Ivy selection and a two-time winner of the team’s Lisa Rosenblum Award, given to the team’s MVP. In her four years, the Bulldogs posted a 24-4 record against Ivy League foes, including a perfect 7-0 mark in 2012, and made three appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Andrew Miller

The captain of the first Yale hockey team to win a national championship, Miller received the William Neely Mallory Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior male at Yale. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime of the national semifinal, had a goal and an assist in the title contest — a 4-0 win over Quinnipiac — and was the Frozen Four Most Valuable Player in Pittsburgh. He signed with the Edmonton Oilers a few days after the national championship game.
Eric Hartzell

Hartzell led the Bobcats to 30 wins and a Frozen Four appearance — the first in program history. A finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, Hartzell posted a 30-7-5 record, a 1.57 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage, which also included an 8-1 record against teams that competed in the NCAA tournament. He signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins following the Frozen Four.
Nicole Lewis
Field hockey

The senior from East Amherst, N.Y., is the only student-athlete from the Northeast Conference to receive the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Last year, Lewis was honored after finishing her undergraduate degree with the highest grade-point average (3.96) in Quinnipiac’s School of Health Science. On the field she was named the NEC Goalkeeper of the Year after leading the conference with a .812 save percentage and four shutouts. She also ranked third in goals-against average (1.59) and finished with 11 wins on the year for the Bobcats, who qualified for their fifth consecutive NEC tournament.
Albertus Magnus
Stephen Zapata

The Hamden product paced the Falcons to their second Great Northeast Athletic Conference title and first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. An all-ECAC selection, he was also named second-team All-American after leading the Falcons with 38 points on 13 goals and 12 assists. He registered a team-high 92 shots, including 43 on goal, while he tallied six game-winners. He was also 4-for-4 in penalty kicks. Zapata finished his career at Albertus with 114 points on 31 goals and 52 assists in 80 games played.
Lianna Carrero

The Hamden native was among the nation’s leaders in scoring for most of the season and notched the 1,000th point of her career in a game played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division III Second Team, she scored 46 points in a game against Norwich. The All-GNAC performer led the Falcons in scoring at 20.2 ppg.
Paul Ryskowski
Cross country/track

A senior from Bristol, Ryskowski was named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team for the third straight year. A distance runner who ran a 4:19.15 in the 1,500 meters in the outdoor track season, Ryskowski was part of the Owls’ New England championship team and an NE-10 academic honoree.
Jaclyn Sullivan
Cross country/track

The senior from Lisbon was named to the NE-10 indoor and outdoor academic all-conference teams. She is an all-region performer and a former NCAA qualifier in the distance medley. She is a three-time all-conference academic pick.

— Bill Cloutier

All winners chosen by their respective schools; SCSU chooses scholar-athletes.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Yale beats Penn State, heads to lacrosse quarterfinals Next Weekend In Maryland

Could it be we're poised for another national championship at Yale?
 A few weeks after the Bulldogs won the NCAA men's hockey championship the men's lacrosse team is headed to the quarterfinals.

On Saturday, the No. 11 Yale men's lacrosse team rallied from a 5-1 halftime deficit to defeat eighth-seeded Penn State 10-7 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Colin Flaherty scored three goals to pace the Bulldogs, who advance to the quarterfinals next weekend at the University of Maryland. Yale plays the winner of Sunday night's Syracuse-Bryant game.
It was Yale's first NCAA Tournament victory since a 9-3 win over Navy in 1992.
The Bulldogs (12-4) outscored Penn State (12-5) 9-2 in the second half.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Yale meets Penn State in NCAA Lacrosse tournament; capsule preview

Yale at Penn State
When: Today, 2:30 P.M.
Records: Yale 11-4; Penn State 12-4

Yale celebrates after winning
the Ivy League title last week

Scouting Yale: The Bulldogs are making their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Yale earned a berth in the field by winning the Ivy League tournament last weekend at Ithaca, N.Y. The Bulldogs defeated Penn (9-6) and Princeton (12-8) in the tourney.Yale is a strong defensive squad having allowed as many as a dozen goals only once this season. Brandon Mangan leads Yale with 35 goals and Conrad Overbeck has 32.
Scouting Penn State: The Nittany Lions earned their first berth in the NCAA tournament since 2005 with an at-large bid after losing in the finals of the CAA tournament 11-10 to Towson. Penn St. appeared in the NCAA tournament in 2003 and 2005, but didn’t make it out of the first round. This season, the Lions turned in the most wins in school history (12), the longest winning streak (10) and their first undefeated conference campaign.
Up next: The winner of Saturday’s game will travel to Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. to face the winner of the Syracuse-Bryant game. SU owns the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament. TJ Sanders has a team-leading 42 goals and Jack Forster has 40.
— Bill Cloutier

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Downs leads Southern Connecticut softball into NCAA tournament again

NEW HAVEN — Led by a slew of seniors, it is no surprise the Southern Connecticut State softball team is once again in the NCAA Division II softball tournament.
And, once again, Seymour’s Alyssa Downs is a big reason why.
“I’m real proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Downs said. “I’m a bit surprised at how much success we’ve had, but everything has come together.”
SCSU slugger Alyssa Downs

Downs was a big part of Southern’s run to the College World Series last season and hopes to carry her team back to the championship series again this year.
SCSU begins tourney play today at 2:30 p.m. in the East Regional against Caldwell College (43-10) at Molloy College in Rockville Center, N.Y.
The University of New Haven softball team also starts tourney play today. The No. 4 seed Chargers (36-13) will meet No. 5 Adelphi (38-17) at 3:30 p.m at LIU-Post.
“This year has been different,” Downs said.
“Last year we knew we had (standout pitcher Jayme Larson) on the mound. This year we don’t have that. The pitching has been great, but this year we knew we all had to contribute and we’ve done it like that.”
Downs leads the seventh-seeded Owls (31-20) with a .314 average, 10 homers and 38 RBIs. Named an All-American as a junior, Downs was named to the Northeast-10 Conference First Team along with teammate Brittany Bucko. Bucko, also an All-American as a junior, has six homers and 23 RBIs this season.
“It’s been great playing with Brittany,” Downs said.
“She’s a great person and a great player. You don’t know what to expect from her. She does something every game.”
Downs is one of six seniors on the team and will graduate on May 17. She said softball has been such a big part of her life it will be sad when her final tournament comes to an end.
“Playing softball has helped motivate me,” Downs said.
“It’s hard playing softball and going to college. The first year was very hard, but then you learn how to manage your time.”
Downs has 11 home runs in NCAA play and heads the senior class that won its 150th game in last week’s NE-10 tourney.
Over the last four years, the group, which also includes Stacy Pouliot, Kate Hoffman and Kristin Whitley, is 151-67 with four NCAA tournament appearances and two conference titles.
Southern is 0-2 against Caldwell this season.
“The first game we played them was close, but we kind of got blown out in the second,” Downs said.
“But we weren’t hitting then and we have a lot of confidence now. We always play well in the tournament.”

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Yale getting ready for NCAA Tournament opener against Penn State

This comes from Register staffer Mary Albl

NEW HAVEN — Typical to the type of person he is, Yale’s Dylan Levings wasn’t fond of all the glitz and glamor that resulted from him being named MVP of the Ivy League lacrosse tournament.
“It was cool momentarily, but the pictures and stuff kind of scared me,” Levings said. “I didn’t really like that as much.”
What he did like was hoisting another trophy and a securing a repeat trip to the NCAA tournament for his team.
The Bulldogs (11-4, 4-2 Ivy) defeated Penn 9-6 last Friday and then beat Princeton 12-8 on Sunday for the Ivy League title. They now travel to Penn State (12-4, 6-0 CAA) for an NCAA tournament first-round matchup with the 13th-seeded Nittany Lions at 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU) on Saturday.
Levings, a junior environmental engineering major, is tabbed as an eccentric individual by his team. He may be a little different, but maybe that’s why his role for the Bulldogs fits him. Levings is the team’s faceoff specialist; a position that many aren’t well-versed in, but one that is so critical to the squad’s success.
“He’s always been exceptional,” head coach Andy Shay said of Levings. “We coach him a little bit, but we try not to screw him up too much.”
This past weekend, Levings won 11 of 17 faceoffs against Penn and then put on a clinic against Princeton. He controlled the game from start to finish, winning 19 of 23 faceoffs, including his first 12 of the game. He also finished with 13 groundballs.
“What he did this weekend was almost unheard of,” junior attacker Brandon Mangan said. “He absolutely dominated the tournament and it means a lot for our offense having so many possessions.”
The heart of Levings’ job is to secure ball possession for Yale. He doesn’t score and won’t be the offensive hero in any game. But his job description is the definition of toughness. He fights tooth and nail and goes stick to stick with his opponent for the ball only to pass off to a teammate that sets up the offense.
“It’s a wrestling match and I like the physical contact,” Levings said.
Shay, who recruited Levings specifically for the role, knew exactly what he was getting. Levings, who played high school lacrosse at Plainedge in Massapequa, N.Y., explained when he first started the sport, he was thrust into the role because he was the strongest. His 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame fits the position to a T.
“I’m short, I’m not tall,” Levings said with a laugh. “It’s good in faceoffs. Same thing when you’re playing line in football; low man wins, lower is better. It’s the only position that I think it’s good to be short; short and strong.”
Levings has since immersed himself in the art of faceoffs. He watches film and does individual workouts. His routine doesn’t follow the typical pattern of his teammates.
“I do a lot of stair running,” he said. “A lot of faceoff is strong legs, pushing people off, so I do extra legs workouts. I can only take a faceoff so many times in practice. I just try to stay healthy and work hard.”
Currently he ranks seventh in the nation in faceoff percentage (.607) and is sixth in groundballs per game (7.93). As a team, Yale is fifth in faceoff percentage.
The Bulldogs will be facing a tough task on Saturday, taking on the No. 2-ranked defense in the country. The Nittany Lions are only allowing 7.44 goals a game and goalie Austin Kaut is second in the nation with a .612 save percentage.
Shay knows the little things make all the difference between a win and loss and advancing to the next round.
“If it’s a close game, then every little possession counts,” Levings said. “We try and out-groundball every team we play. I like to go out there and say it doesn’t matter and we win by 15, but I try to play like we always need every possession.”

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Yale beats Princeton, earns date with Penn State in NCAA lacrosse tournament

Yale broke a 6-6 tie with five straight goals in the third quarter to defeat Princeton 12-8 in the Ivy League men’s lacrosse tournament championship game at Ithaca, N.Y., on Sunday.
Yale celebrates its second
straight Ivy League championship.
The Bulldogs (11-4) defeated the Tigers in the title game for the second straight year and earned the automatic bid into the NCAA championship field of 16.

The Bulldogs will play at No. 8 seed Penn State in the first round of the NCAA on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Nine different Bulldogs scored, including two goals each by Conrad Oberbeck, Brandon Mangan and Kirby Zdrill. Eric Natale recorded 10 saves, eight in the second half.
Tom Schreiber had four points for the Tigers on two goals and two assists.
Yale’s Dylan Levings was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. He was dominant on faceoffs on Sunday, winning 19 or 23.
Princeton (9-6) scored the first two goals before Yale regrouped and reeled off six straight by six different players. The Bulldogs led 6-3 at the half. After Princeton opened the second half with three goals to tie the game, Yale came back with five in row, including two goals from Oberbeck.
Oberbeck, Peter Johnson, Natale and Michael McCormack joined Levings on the All-Ivy tournament team.
Yale is the first school to win a pair of Ivy League postseason championships.

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

New Haven falls in Northeast-10 Conference softball final, await NCAA bid

Christina Gelardi hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning for the University of New Haven softball team, but the Chargers’ rally attempt fell short in a 4-3 loss to Adelphi in the championship game of the Northeast-10 Conference tournament Saturday at Manchester, N.H.
The Chargers trailed 4-0 after one inning.
Christina Gelardi

Lucy Francisco hit a run-scoring single in the sixth inning to put New Haven on the board.
Brandy Dianno, Jess Spivey and Keri Tricinelli also had hits for the Chargers (36-13), who were playing in their first NE-10 tournament championship final.
New Haven, recently ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Division II East Region Rankings, now waits for the selection show, which will air tonight at The Chargers, likely to receive an at-large bid, are hoping to advance to their fifth NCAA tournament in the last six years.
 Gelardi was named the Northeast-10 Conference Softball Player of the Year, as announced by the league office Thursday. The senior is joined by six others who were named to All-NE-10 teams.
Second baseman Lucy Francisco and pitcher Micah Stonesifer both were second-team honorees while Jess Spivey and Keri Tricinelli were named to the third team. Freshmen Nicole King and Jen Palase were both named to the all-rookie team.
The nation’s leader in on-base percentage, Gelardi currently boasts some of the best numbers in all of collegiate softball. The Derby native also ranks sixth in runs per game, 11th in batting average and 15th in walks in all of Division II.
Francisco, who has started 46 games, boasts a .338 batting average with the team’s second-most RBIs (37). She also has scored 32 runs and has 20 extra-base hits through the end of the regular season.
Stonesifer leads the team with a 15-6 record and a 1.41 earned run average in the circle. She’s thrown 14 complete games, including four shutouts. This is the second year-end conference honor for the Archer City, Texas, native in her two seasons at UNH.
At first base, Spivey has anchored the Chargers with a .322 batting average in 38 starts. She drove in 29 runs with 12 extra-base hits. The sophomore has also scored 21 runs and has 245 putouts with a .996 fielding percentage.
Tricinelli, the Chargers’ DH, is hitting .333 this season with 33 RBIs. She has 45 hits and 16 runs.
Another pitching weapon, King has posted an 11-5 record with a 2.61 ERA in her freshman season. She’s fanned a team-high 119 batters while holding opponents to a .203 average.
Palase started 40 games in her rookie campaign and is currently third on the team with a .358 batting average. The Staten Island native has also driven in 17 runs and scored another 20 this season.
New Haven begins its postseason run Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Manchester, N.H., in the second round of the NE-10 championship tournament against Stonehill. The winning team will advance to the semifinals on Friday night against host Southern New Hampshire at 7 p.m.

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